pioneering transformation in education, research and innovation





The European Universities Initiative was launched in 2017 with the vision to create the universities of the future and revolutionise the quality and competitiveness of European higher education. Today, 41 European University alliances have been created following two calls from the Erasmus+ agency. The 17 European Universities from the first call are now reaching the middle of the initial 3-year period and 24 new alliances have been created in last fall of 2020.

More than 280 Higher Education Institutions from the 27 member states are testing different cooperation models for ‘bottom-up networks of universities across the EU which will enable students to obtain a degree by combining studies in several EU countries and contribute to the international competitiveness of European universities’. It is envisioned that these alliances will have a pioneering role in the transformation in education, research and innovation across Europe.

This conference brings together representatives from European Universities, including Rectors, Presidents and Coordinators, but also students, researchers and academic staff, with representatives from the European Commission and the Member States as well as relevant stakeholders from business and society.

The panel discussions will address the main topics on the agenda for the European Universities Initiative, including the transformation potential of these transnational alliances, how the European Universities can contribute to the goals of creating a green, digital and inclusive society as well as provide the future and advanced skills for societal transformation. The final panel will engage representative from the governments of the regions of the RUN-EU – Regional European Network European University, to discuss the role of European Universities in regional development and in the leadership of regional innovation ecosystems, as a way to create a European Zone for Interregional Development.



10:00 (CET)
Opening Session

Manuel Heitor
Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education – Portugal

Themis Christophidou
Director-General Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission

10:30 (CET)
Panel 1
The transformation potential of European Universities

11:45 – 12:00 (CET)
Digital coffee break

12:00 (CET)
Panel 2
How the European University can foster skills for a green, digital and inclusive society

13:15 – 15:00 (CET)
Lunch Break


15:00 (CET)
Panel 3
Future and advanced skills for societal transformation

16:15 16:30 (CET)
Digital coffee break

16:30 (CET)
Panel 4
The role of European Universities in leading regional innovation ecosystems

17:45 (CET)
Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
Agreement of RUN-EU members with Regional Government representatives about the long-term vision and the construction of the EZ-ID – European Zone for Inter-regional Development.

18:00 (CET)
Closing Session

Rui Pedrosa
President of the Polytechnic of Leiria, Portugal
RUN-EU European University

João Sobrinho Teixeira
Secretary of State of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal







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Polytechnic of Leiria

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